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Teeny Weeny Yogini

25 Apr

In high school, I used to babysit every Tuesday for my seminary teacher. Their family was awesome. One of the things I loved was that their kids would eat anything. Their dad said that whenever they introduced a new vegetable, he and his wife would make a huge deal about how excited they were to be having it. They would pretend not to give their kids any of it, saying, “you won’t like this… this is just for grown-ups.” Of course their kids begged for some, and when they got to try it, they had to master the art of faking it. “MMMM!!!”

This is how I approach yoga with my kids. I play coy, “you don’t want to do yoga with me? OK, no biggie.” I know they will move away from anything I pressure them to do too strongly. It’s a fine line, balancing how much motivation to give them, and when to leave it alone. Drew has grown increasingly interested in yoga lately. Her daycare has been doing a program called “ZENergy” and she loves it. It’s somehow a mixture of yoga poses, John-Travolta-dance-moves, and gymnastics. Needless to say, she loves it. She’s coming home begging to go to Cosmic’s kids class, and spontaneously popping into poses that I haven’t taught her. Fun for me! Now I have a yoga partner.

Um, yes. She’s always this calm and cooperative.

I’m saving this one for when she’s a teenager. Proof that she really does love me.

Updog. Downdog. At The Dog. I smell a Dr. Seuss inspired yoga book in the works!

Yep, any day now we’ll be booking our flight to India. Namaste, baby!

Hitting the mat

13 Dec

literally.

I think my college roommate is still in shock that I’m a yoga instructor. I don’t ever think I’ll live down the day I threw a bottle of hair spray at her for singing a perky song while getting ready at six in the morning. I used to get angry a lot. Now? Not so much.

In fact, it’s been quite some time since I’ve been angry or overwhelmed or frustrated. I usually experience these emotions a couple of times a year, and yesterday it was time to rage. It’s not the big, momentous disasters that upset me. I take those in stride. The bigger the problem, the more gracefully I seem to react. It’s the small things that get to me. The consistent complaining from children, added with the tracking of rain through the house on muddy feed, compounded with a huge to-do list, aggravated by constant requests and suggestions from everyone around me, multiplied by not having time to clean the house or return phone calls. Nailed in with the realization that I haven’t looked in my kids’ eyes all day long. When these things join forces and couple with lack of time to center myself, I get angry.

For the record, I think anger is a normal part of being human. Being out of balance is a normal part of being human.  I don’t see it as good or bad, productive or non-productive. It’s just an energy that moves through us. We have the chance to feed it or push it away, or simply experience it. The past few days, I’ve been simultaneously feeding it and pushing it away. I’ve yelled at my kids, given myself time outs, eaten too much sugar, and created a lot of crazy stories in my head. I let myself taste anger and have to admit that it was a tasty, junk food meal. While I was in the circle of anger, I knew it. I knew that the things I was doing weren’t helpful in the least. I knew that I knew better. I didn’t make the effort to sit quietly with the anger.

Yesterday morning, Lisa let me vent. I went on and on and on like a high school girl playing victim. Then I apologized and she laughed and we both agreed that I needed some yoga. I didn’t have much time (which is one of my main stressors), but I stepped on to the mat anyway. There was an alter of flowers and candles at the front of the room and I put on my favorite yoga music mix. I used the candles as a funeral pyre and offered my anger as fuel for the fire. Then, I started hitting the mat. 20 minutes of not-so-graceful Surya Namascar gave that anger the life it needed. I felt it appreciate having a space to live its life, and a direction to move in. When I rested in Samastihiti at the end of practice, it was gone. Burned in the funeral pyre.

I love the power of tapas – the refiner’s fire. Works every time. Sometimes intentions are symbolic, and sometimes they are literal. Yesterday was a literal day, and thank god for it.

So what do you think? Is anger good or bad? Does it depend on how it’s used? How have you handled anger successfully? Can you see the signs of anger approaching, or does it sneak up on you?

Need a new inspiration?

13 Nov

Now who can we get to teach us third series at Cosmic Dog?

AcroYoga

13 Oct

I took Jamie’s Intro to Acro Therapeutics and Thai Massage on Sunday. It felt so good! I knew that it would, but I was so surprised at what happened. I was lucky enough to be partnered with Jamie and Karen and Jamie is so darn stead that I was able to just pop right up in most of the poses. (I learned that it’s a surprising challenge to be the base) About half way through the workshop, I was hanging off of his feet and I heard a pop. Then another one. Then, my shulders started bending in places they haven’t in years. It felt so good. I’ve been draping myself off of the couch, hanging off the swings at the elementary school and working on my drop backs.

AHHH!

AHHH!

I was hanging off of those swings after school with the kids and Drew said, “Oh, this feels relaxable!”

Later this afternoon, Kieran jumped on my feet for a bit of Acro and Drew finally braved it. Now, we’re the fearless flying Gallaghers. I really want to have a workshop at the studio for kids and their yoga moms. Too much fun!

kieran wp

drew wjp

Gorgeous

6 Oct

Thank you Karma Club members and teachers for spending Saturday with me and producing such beauty. You really are amazing models. My job really is too much fun…

Dina and Danielle fountain winnerDina flips the dog

Katie blossom crop fadeKatie faded turtleKelli and Jason profile fadeAh! Marcella slays the peacockJason Vasi fadeKelli Marcella Vasi BW CropLaurie Arm Balance FadeSmall Group Child's Pose FadeKelli MasterpieceKelli Peeks under arm Fadekelli portrait 2karen's paschi tight bw

Marcella backbend FadeLesley Eagle FadeMollie flies fadeRick Canon hand to toe BWRick paschi bwSmall Group Child's Pose Fadecircle of love fadeclass triangle close up fadeDonna and Gator Fadegirls train 3 leg up fadegroup forward fold fadeherringbone fade

something better

31 Jul

What could possibly be better than the OmSwing? (I really should get paid for all of these gratuitious OS posts…) I’ll tell ya what could be better —

Yogi Jamie.

Jamie's therapeutic twist

Drew and I worked the front desk at The Dog last night (best job on the planet), and had the joy of flying with Jamie. Jamie teaches the last class of the night. He came out during the closing savasana for a prop and Drew was in the hallway so in she went to do “angel pose” with the class. She came out so happy to be included and I told her “Jamie flies people!” I flew her a bit and then she was too intimidated to fly with Jamie, so I jumped on his feet for a bit of aerial, therapeutic yoga.

OMG. What could be better than the OmSwing? Hanging like a bat while somebody else tractions your body in every direction and gives you thai massage at the same time. Ah, it felt so damn good. I’m afraid I made Jamie late for the airport, but it was definitely worth it.

Stay tune, we’re running a 3-part series on partner, aerial and therapeutic yoga with Jamie in October. Can’t wait!

Here he is in the park with a girl he met 30-seconds before. Jamie used his now-famous pick up line: “Hey, ya wanna fly?” If he uses it on you, trust him and say yes!

I still want one

29 Jul

Lisa thinks it will be hard to develop a WHOLE class based on this thing. Something tells me I’ll never get bored with it.